BOWL BONANZA

A look at where Texas teams (and LSU) will play in bowl games

Sam Ehlinger and the Longhorns will face Georgia. Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images

The bowl games are set, and the playoffs will feature Alabama vs. Oklahoma and Clemson vs. Notre Dame. But there are also six Texas schools and LSU playing in bowl games. Here is who they play, when they play and how the matchups look:

Saturday, Dec. 15

New Mexico Bowl (2 p.m., ESPN): North Texas vs. Utah State. North Texas finished off a 9-3 season with a win over UTSA and their reward is facing a very good Utah State team that went 10-2 and just missed out making the Mountain West title game. The Mean Green will be up against it. 

Saturday, Dec. 22

Armed Forces Bowl (3:30 p.m., ESPN): Houston vs. Army. The Cougars late collapse lands them in a difficult spot against a really good Army team. The Cougars will be without Ed Oliver against a team that can run the football. No D'Eriq King, either, which will make for a tough matchup for the Cougars.

Tuesday, Dec. 26

Cheez-It Bowl (9 p.m. ESPN): TCU vs. Cal. The Horned Frogs had a dissapointing season but  won their last two to garner bowl eligibilty and will look for a decent win over an improved Cal team.

Wednesday, Dec. 27

Texas Bowl (9 p.m., ESPN) Baylor vs. Vanderbilt. The Bears had a surprising season, earning bowl eligibilty on the last week of the season. They will face a Vanderbilt team they should be able to compete with.

Monday, Dec. 31

Taxslayer Bowl (6:30 p.m., ESPN): Texas A&M vs. NC State. The Aggies get a decent matchup with NC State after an eight win debut for Jimbo Fisher. This should be a good opportunity for the Aggies.

Tuesday, Jan. 1

Fiesta Bowl (1 p.m., ESPN): LSU vs. UCF. The Tigers get to be the Group of Five team that faces UCF this year. The Golden Knights will be without their starting QB, but they still thumped Memphis without him. An intriguing matchup.

Sugar Bowl (8:45 p.m., ESPN): Texas vs. Georgia. The Longhorns get a New Year's Six bowl despite losing in the Big 12 title game, and their reward is a Georgia team that might lack motivation considering they were close to making the playoff. 

Are Buzz Williams and the Aggies No. 1?

Fresh off a run to the championship game by Texas Tech and some high profile recent coaching hires in both football and basketball, the state of Texas appears to be in great shape when it comes to Division I college coaching duos. We ranked each sport, then took the total. The lower the score, the better. It's a pretty impressive group. We stayed with the six biggest programs (SMU would be No. 7, but there simply is not enough to go on to rank beyond that). Here is how your duo stacks up:

6) Baylor (10 points)

Baylor v Syracuse

Getty Images

Scott Drew (fifth in the basketball rankings) has built a perennial tournament team at Baylor, but they have never been able to get past the Elite Eight. Still, he has been very good. Matt Ruhle (fifth among football coaches) took over a mess of a program and after a one-win season got the Bears to a bowl game last year and could take another step this year.

5) TCU (9)

TCU football coach Gary Patterson Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Gary Patterson (3) has been one of the best coaches in the state for a long time and the Frogs are lucky to have him. Jamie Dixon (6) put up a resume as impressive as anyone's at Pitt but has missed the NCAAs twice in two years at TCU.

4) Texas Tech (7)

Chris Beard. Sarah Stier/Getty Images

It's hard to argue with Chris Beard (1) as the top coach in the state, considering he was just minutes from a title and there is no reason to think he can't continue to thrive. Matt Wells (6) was an off-season hire who came off a 10-win season at Utah State but also had only three winning seasons in six years there and this is a tough step up.

2t) Texas (6)

University of Texas football coach Tom Herman Tim Warner/Getty Images

The Longhorns might have found the right guy in Tom Herman (2) for football, as Texas already has a New Year's Six win, his second as a head coach in the state. Shaka Smart (4) has been a mixed bag at the school, but is one of only three coaches in the state with a Final Four appearance.

2t) Houston (6)

Kelvin Sampson. Bob Levey/Getty Images

Kelvin Sampson (2) has engineered a remarkable turnaround with the basketball team with two straight appearances and a bright future. He also has a Final Four in his past. He has taken four different schools to the tournament. Dana Holgorsen (4) did well in a tough place at West Virginia and should thrive at Houston. He remains one of the best play callers in college football.

1) Texas A&M (4)

Jimbo Fisher and the Aggies debuted with a win. Cooper Neill/Getty Images

Jimbo Fisher (1) has scoreboard with a football national title at Florida State. He did a nice job in his first year at A&M and the future looks incredibly bright, although there will always be that pesky Alabama, LSU and Auburn to deal with. Buzz Williams (3) was a home run hire who had success in a tough Big East and then the rugged ACC. Aggie basketball should be a factor for years to come.

The basketball rankings

1) Beard

2) Sampson

3) Williams

4) Smart

5) Drew

6) Dixon

I had a tough time ranking 4-6, so I went to college basketball A.J. Hoffman, and this is how he ranked them.

The football rankings

1) Fisher

2) Herman

3) Patterson

4) Holgorsen

5) Ruhle

6) Wells

This one seemed a lot more clear cut, although you could make arguments among the top three. Would you trade your duo for any of these?

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